Tuesday morning began with a visit to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The visit was kicked off with briefings and welcome comments by Darrell Ayers, Vice President, Education, Kennedy Center; Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM; Leo Coco, Senior Policy Advisor, Nelson Mullins; and Mary Luehrsen, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, NAMM. Briefings on Education Reform, Common Core, and Arts Education were presented by Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Sandra Ruppert, Director, Arts Education Partnership; Richard Riley, Former United States Secretary of Education; and Maria Voles Ferguson, Executive Director, Center on Education Policy, George Washington University.
The morning continued with “Community Collaboration: Achieving Access and Equity in Arts Education”, presented by Darrell Ayers and Barbara Shepard, Director of National Partnerships, Kennedy Center. This session explored the Kennedy Center’s innovative Any Given Child initiative promoting arts education nationally. The visit was concluded with an overview and tour of the Kennedy Center, including the BlueNote at 75 exhibit, led by Kevin Struthers, Director of Jazz Programming, Kennedy Center.
The NAMM Advocacy Fly-In Delegation at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In the afternoon, NAMM Delegates participated in a working lunch at the Nelson Mullins offices. Peter Fenn, Partner, Fenn Communications Group, provided an overview of the current political climate, outlook for 2014 Congressional elections, and projections for the 2016 Presidential race. He and Leo Coco facilitated a Q&A while a select group of delegates attended a White House event celebrating the Turnaround Arts Initiative with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Both President Obama and the First lady were present for the event that included the Savoy Players performing.
The afternoon concluded with a training, message and logistics discussion for the Capitol Hill meetings the next day, facilitated by Leo Coco. It included individual State teams meeting in small groups to prepare for the Hill visits.
On Tuesday evening, NAMM Delegates headed for the Library of Congress for a reception and dinner honoring the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) Turnaround Arts Initiative. The talented Savoy Players from Savoy Elementary performed a wonderful dance and vocal routine that dazzled the audience. Kristen Madsen, GRAMMY Foundation, presented the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator Award to Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher from Upstate New York. He was the top nominee in the U.S. from over 32,000 submissions.